Building on the current highs in South African new vehicle sales, Renault has decided to aim at winning seven per cent of the local passenger car market by 2007.

Building on the current highs in South African new vehicle sales, Renault has decided to aim at winning seven per cent of the local passenger car market by 2007.

The French manufacturer currently holds five per cent of the passenger car market and expects to sell about 14 000 units this year. Renault sold 9 000 new units in 2003.

At the time when Renault gained control of its local operation last year, the country was seen as having a market capable of about 250 000 units per year. However, analysts have predicted that the sales of new cars should increase to at least 300 000 units this year.

Chief executive Roland Bouchara says expanding the manufacturer's dealer network will be instrumental in increasing its sales. Renault also plans to increase the size of its existing 45 dealerships in SA too.

Bouchara cites low interest rates and stable vehicle prices as some of the factors supporting the recent sharp growth in vehicle sales, predicted to be up by just under 20 per cent this year.